Painkiller Jane: Anything But Painful
Fridays 10pm Est/ 9pm Cst
Starring: Kristanna Loken, Andre McBride, Maureen Bowers
Sci-Fi's new original series is based on the comic book series by creators Joe Palmiotti and Joe Quesada. I remember reading the comic series when it first came out, but nothing about it particularly blew me away. I was hoping that on the television it might capture my attention more than in paper form.
This is actually Sci-Fi's second pass at this series. The comic was originally done on Sci-Fi as a mini-series back in 2005. It garnered enough fan interest to bring about this new incarnation, but strayed far from its comic origins. This new series is not a sequel, but in fact a re-telling of the origin that holds more closely to the original comic material.
The story centers around a tough-as-nails, hard case DEA agent named Jane Vasko. She is played by Kristanna Loken who serves the part well, though I found myself getting flashbacks of Yancy Butler from the Witchblade TV series. The story also carries other overtones that are reminiscent of Heroes or Men In Black. While investigating her latest case she stumbles upon a "Neuron," a person with a genetic abnormality that grants them unknown powers. And then she subsequently is recruited by a secret force to track down and neutralize these people. It's on her first case that we actually get a peek into the true mystery behind Jane. When things go wrong, very wrong, she ends up getting thrown from the 46th floor of a building. Ouch! But our girl apparently isn't so easy to kill and wakes up later in the morgue, then proceeds to stumble on home. So we are now left to discover the What, Why and How behind her powers while we also track down these mysterious Neurons. The story has piqued my interest and I'm curious to see where they'll take it. Plus being a comic fan, I feel it's my obligation to at least view and support the adaptations. I still remember the days when comics were banished to only exist in paper medium, hidden from the rest of the world.
Survivability: Sci-Fi has positioned it on its biggest ratings night, Friday, right after both Stargates, so they are giving it a decent chance for success with a nice lead-in. But in the end the storylines will really make or break this show.